Articles by Dan Holohan

High Pressure Always Goes to Low Pressure

Without a Difference in Pressure, There Can Be No Flow
By Dan Holohan
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Since heat travels on flow like a passenger on a train, where there is no flow, there is no heat. And it’s going to look just like an air problem. Which it’s not.


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Blame the Kids: The Cause of Your Mechanical Malfunctions

Kids do the Darndest Things, Don’t They?
By Dan Holohan
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It took six firefighters to get the kid out of the duct, and Mama got older. Much older.


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When I’m 64: Knowledge is the Greatest Gift

Knowledge is the Greatest Gift You Can Give
By Dan Holohan
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I turned 64 in January, and if I knew I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself. 


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My Day as a Potted Plant

A Tale of Corporate Misunderstanding and Embarrassing New Suits
By Dan Holohan
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The year I served as the potted plant, Sheraton was building a hotel out on Lawn Guyland. This is where things got tricky. 


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You Don’t Need a Weatherman

You Do Need Knowledge of the Quirks of Older Heating Systems
By Dan Holohan
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Unless you get an older steam system working as it should be working, sensors and software will just let you know that something is wrong.


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A Grand Punch in the Mouth

Lessons Learned from the Great Recession and Hurricane Sandy
By Dan Holohan
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As the noted philosopher Mr. Michael “Iron Mike” Tyson once said, “Everyone has a plan, ’til they get punched in the mouth.”


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A History of Steam Pressure Relief Valves

Who Truly Gets Credit for the Invention of the Steam Pressure Relief Valve?
By Dan Holohan
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In 1905, a boiler in a Boston shoe factory blew up, traveled a great distance through the air, and landed, with delightful justice, in the front yard of the operating engineer’s house. Think it got his attention?


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The Challenges of Early 20th Century High-Rise Steam-Heating Systems

By Dan Holohan
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This system is the missing link between one- and two-pipe steam. It was used in tall buildings in the early 1900s because a building this tall wouldn’t work well with one-pipe steam if the supply came up from the basement. 


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Putting the Fish in Efficiency

By Dan Holohan
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High efficiency comes with a price that’s higher than normal efficiency (whatever that is), and because of that higher price, high efficiency is now a subjective term that is open to broad interpretation, and perhaps even reinvention. 


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Troubleshooting Old Steam-Heating Systems

By Dan Holohan
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Older cities are loaded with boiler rooms full of steam-heating boilers, and lots of people — knuckleheads included — have had decades to mess with what the “dead men” once lovingly installed. So, here’s a short list of things to look for when you’re troubleshooting one of those old systems, starting in the boiler room.
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